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Revised School Boundary Maps Reflect Community Input

Meeting Summary: CFAC Works on Revisions to Draft Boundary Plan

May 9, 2018, Capital Facilities Advisory Committee (CFAC)

Members of the Capital Facilities Advisory Committee (CFAC) worked on a revised set of boundary maps and a revised school feeder plan on May 9. The emerging plan answers many of the concerns expressed by community members during the public review process in March and April.

 

During three hours of discussion at their May 9 meeting, members looked more closely at every section of the district, examining proposed changes against the previous draft, comparing student population to building capacities, and discussing long-range building plans. Members agreed unanimously to move the revised boundary plan forward for final evaluation at their May 23 meeting.

"Changing boundaries is a huge task but we found ways to address a great many of the issues identified by families and community members across the district," CFAC Co-chair Rose Clark said.  CFAC Co-Chair Aaron Garcia added, "This is looking like a good compromise that will serve our families well."

 

Highlights of Revised Plan

Highlights of the revised draft boundary plan being considered by CFAC:

  • Better matches student population to building capacity

  • Makes fewer changes to existing boundaries

  • Aligns with more city and neighborhood boundaries

  • Minimizes bus transportation

  • Preserves the ability to walk to school for more students who live close to school sites. (Some school sites remain near the border of their service area because they are close to a major roadway.)

  • Keeps proposed elementary cohorts together from kindergarten through high school

 

Factors to Consider

Members listed a number of factors that they are trying to take into account or that are included in building capacity numbers:

  • Sixth grade moves to middle school in fall 2019

  • Reducing class sizes in kindergarten through third grade as directed by the state

  • Added capacity by fall 2019 with the addition of 13 permanent classrooms at four elementary sites, a new 950-student middle school and a new, larger Des Moines Elementary School.

  • Populations are expected to grow the most in the north and south edges of the district as housing prices go up in Seattle and in South King County.

  • More buildable land still exists in the south end of the district.

  • Projected enrollment numbers for each school are based on a peak year during the next five years and are based on the resident population within the proposed boundaries.

  • Beyond changing boundaries, more capacity will be needed in future bond measures. Next up for a future bond: Evergreen and Tyee high schools, Pacific Middle School and Southern Heights Elementary according to previous long-range recommendations. More matching funds could be available from the state for adding up to 30 more permanent classrooms at existing schools to help reduce class size if more Highline school bonds are approved in the future.

  • While this plan puts Evergreen and Tyee high schools under capacity and Highline and Mount Rainier high schools over capacity, when new schools are built at Evergreen and Tyee funded by a future bond, the new facilities will attract more students and reduce the numbers transferring out of their neighborhood high school.

 

Public Comments

A handful of community members in attendance made brief statements during a 15-minute public comment period at the end of the meeting. Several thanked CFAC members for listening to feedback from the community. One asked what happens to school district boundaries if the City of Seattle annexes the unincorporated White Center area. District staff said changes to city boundaries do not impact school district boundaries. A Mount Rainier High School student said smaller class sizes are more important to her than staying with her elementary cohort from kindergarten to high school.

 

Next Steps

The revised draft boundary maps are a work in progress and are not final. Members have requested demographic information to ensure their recommendations do not have a negative impact on equity across the district. (See Boundary FAQs for more information on how boundary changes relate to equity.)

 

They also plan to consider if they want to make recommendations regarding special program locations. For example, the recommendations may include moving the Challenge program from Parkside Elementary to the new, larger Des Moines Elementary to limit the extent of other elementary school boundary changes.

 

CFAC members plan to finalize their boundary recommendations in time to present a complete recommendation to the school board at its June 6 meeting. Following board protocol, topics and proposals are first introduced, with action taken at a subsequent board meeting.

 

View Revised Plan

See the revised draft boundary plan and school feeder pattern (CFAC-map D) and the handout listing estimated resident enrollment numbers for the draft boundaries.

 

Comments or questions about the revised draft boundary maps and school feeder plan can be directed to KeepingOurPromise@highlineschools.org.